Catherine Cockburn

My Maternal 2nd Great-Grandmother

Vinegar Close, Leith - home of Catherine Cockburn in 1851.

Catherine Cockburn was born in Ireland around 1832 to Samuel Cockburn and Ann Smith.  There are no records for Catherine prior to her marriage to John Cockburn (week #45) on July 8, 1851 at South Leith Parish Church in Leith, Edinburgh Scotland.  According to the parochial records for the marriage, at that time she had been living at Vinegar Close Leith.

Catherine and John remained in Edinburgh all of their lives, raising four of their six children there; two of their young daughters died in 1868 of Scarlet Fever. The Cockburns cannot be located in the 1851 or 1861 Scotland Cenus.  Catherine is recorded with John and their childen, including my great-grandfather, John Jr., in the census as follows:

1871 Census - John Cockburn, Toll Collector, (45) and Catherine Cockburn (43) both born in Ireland, living at Wallyford Tollhouse, Parish of Inveresk, Midlothian, Scotland. Children: Elizabeth (14), Mary C (11), Maria L (9) and John (1).

1881 Census - John Cockburn (52) - Head - born abt. 1829 in Ireland, living at Cragimillar Road Toll house, Paris/District of Liberton, Midlothian Scotland. Occupation: Toll Collector; wife Catherine (49), son John (11) and daughter, Mary (21).

1891 Census - John Cockburn (64) born in Ireland abt 1827, living at 34 Marchmont Cres, Parish of Edinburgh, St. Cuthberts, Newington District. Occupation: Gardener. Wife Catherine (61), son John (J) age 21, daughter M (28) and three medical students/lodgers.

In the 1890's the Cockburns began renting rooms to medical students studying at the university.  Catherine was widowed when John died in 1899; she continued to house students with the assistance of her daughter Maria and John Jr., until his marriage to Mary Heddle in 1903.

The 1901 Scotland Census lists Catherine Cockburn (73), born abt 1828 in Co Leikim (Lietrim?) Ireland, living at 23 Marchmont Cres, Newington, Parish Edinburgh Robertson Memorial with John (32), Maria (29), and three student lodgers.

In 1911 the census records Catherine Cockburn (83) Head, Widow, Boarding House Keeper living with daughter Maria (48) single and 3 lodgers in Morningside Edinburgh.

On April 15, 1915, Catherine Cockburn died at the age of 83 (she may have been 87) at her home on Warrender Park Rd, Edinburgh, District of Morningside, of cardiac failure. Daugther E. Oatway (Elizabeth) present. Parents listed as Samuel Cockburn and Ann Smith were both deceased. Catherine was buried with her husband John in North Merchiston Cemetery, Edinburgh within lair No. I 73. There is not a record of a memorial marker on that plot.

All of the Cockburn children eventually immigrated to Canada and settled in Hamilton, Ontario. 

Home of Catherine and John Cockburn in 1869 where John Jr. was born. 3 Starbank Rd. Leith, Scotland. (photo taken in 2005).

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09.10 | 13:33

Hello Peter - please email me at

23.08 | 15:28

Hi Karen, If you are still maintaining this page, please drop me a line. William and Mary were my great, great, grandparents. Best Regards,

29.08 | 18:46

John. Can you email me at - then we can connect directly. ..

16.08 | 11:58

Hi Karen, if you are interested, please visit my facebook page
regards john crome.

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